"Appeasement from weakness and fear is alike futile and fatal. Appeasement from strength is magnanimous and noble, and might be the surest and perhaps the only path to world peace."I'm guessing Rumsfeld never heard that one from one of conservatism's favorite icons.
The US is a superpower, while Iran is a relative lightweight. Iran is less powerful than Israel in its region -- and two dozen countries spend more on military force than does Iran (according to CIA figures).
The US, incidentally, spends about half of the world total on its military, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
According to the CIA, Iran is #25 in world military spending, at about $4.3 billion per year. The US spends more than 120 times that figure, annually.
Should Americans worry that a nuke will make all the difference -- overlooking for the moment that any Iranian weapon is probably 10 years away?
Do not forget what Condi said about nuclear proliferation in 2000:
the first line of defense should be a clear and classical statement of deterrence -- if they do acquire WMD, their weapons will be unusable because any attempt to use them will bring national obliteration.Leaders as diverse as Stalin, Mao, Nixon, and General Musharraf have had their fingers on the red button -- but none of them have ever pushed that button and none has ever given the bomb to a terrorist.
Why would Iran be any different?
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